O2 network outage attracts ire of business secretary

An unexplained network outage affected O2 customers over bank holiday weekend and caught attention of business secretary Sajid Javid

The O2 mobile network has returned to normal following an unexplained outage over the bank holiday weekend, which took down mobile connections in the afternoon and evening of 25 May.

The fault with O2’s network resulted in customers being unable to make or receive calls or use data services.

It took hold across the country and is known to have affected O2 customers in Glasgow, London, Manchester and some areas of Northern Ireland.

Many O2 customers took to social media to complain, including business secretary Sajid Javid, who tweeted: “No signal @O2. Please sort it out.”

On its services status website, O2 said service “might come and go” until the problem was fixed, with devices displaying “no service” in areas where they should have service.

Network availability returned to normal just before midnight following emergency remedial work by O2’s support teams.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to those customers affected and we will now begin a full investigation to identify the root cause,” said O2.

Have you switched it off and on again?

However, at the time of writing some customers were still reporting problems receiving data services.

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O2 has been advising customers to switch their phones off and on again in an attempt to recover service to their handouts.

According to Ovum’s Matthew Howett, speaking to the BBC’s Today Programme on Tuesday 26 May, this may indicate a problem with registering devices on the network, which is likely to be a software issue.

Emergency network

O2 is one of eight organisations the Home Office has asked to submit a “best and final” offer to supply a resilient and secure mobile network for the new Emergency Services Network using publicly available services as a base.

The government wants to run emergency services communications across existing commercial networks because there is no additional mobile spectrum available, and it believes it would be too expensive to procure a private radio network.

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